Seriously? Is It Just Me…

Seriously. The reality of broken friendships is heartbreaking.

Posted on: June 16, 2010

As a faithful fan of the Real Housewives of New York series, I’ll admit that I was quite excited to watch the reunion episode from this season. However, it turned out to be 40 minutes of constant bickering and bitching between seven grown women, which depending on who you ask makes great television.

The highlight of part one’s episode for those who had been watching was to see if Jill Zarin and Bethenny Frankel would mend their shattered friendship in front of millions of viewers. Personally, I had been anticipating this episode in hopes that they would, because frankly true friends are hard to find and I enjoyed watching them together.

I was a complete ball of nerves as I witnessed a tear stricken Jill apologize repeatedly to Bethenny for her callous behavior to her this season, her regret was stifling as she all but begged for forgiveness. Then it was Bethenny’s turn and I thought this is it, the make up. I was sitting on the edge of my sofa, anxiously awaiting the response that would make all the tension, drama and backstabbing displayed on this season worth the agony of watching each emotional show. And then Bethenny unleashed the flood gates of her hurt, anger and embarrassment onto Jill by outlining each of her wrong doings throughout their relationship. She reminded her how many times she tried to make amends and was repeatedly shut out to the point where her heart simply shattered. My mouth fell open, as I watched Jill run from the room crying and Bethenny stammering on about how she simply could not keep Jill in her life anymore. There would most certainly be no make up tonight.

As the show came to a close, I was feeling incredibly let down, frustrated and quite honestly angry with Bethenny. How could she not forgive this woman who appeared to so desperately want to be friends with her? What kind of person can see an old friend crying her eyes out and just say I can’t?

It was disheartening to say the least, until I remembered that friendships as close as they may have been do end and that’s okay.

When I went off to college, I made the decision to cut out my toxic best friend from high school. For so many years (awkward teenage ones, I might add), I tried to make that friendship work. I took her verbal abuse, her jealous attacks, and her backstabbing while forgiving her nasty comments and harsh demands to be her friend time and time again. And then with a shattered heart and bruised spirit, I was done. I had finally reached a point (more so, the courage) where I realized the relationship was unhealthy for the both of us and I ended it.

Over the years, my ex-girlfriend has repeatedly contacted me to makeup for her wrongness, seek forgiveness for her past behavior and suggest that we be friends again. And each time I listened to her, absorbed what she was saying, and forgave her for what she did but I never allowed her back in my life. The friendship had long run it’s course and I no longer had a place for her in my heart.

As I reminded myself of that painful experience, I began to completely understand why Bethenny couldn’t rush into Jill’s arms and say I love you, I forgive you, we can be Bestie’s again. The pain and hurt that someone you love causes you can leave a mark so deep you’ll never forget how you got it. Can you move on? Yes. Can you learn from it? Yes. Can you forgive? Yes. But no one, not even the million of viewers let down by the lack of a reconciliation, should expect you to open yourself back up to a relationship that caused you so much agony.

I hope that Jill was truthful when she said she had changed and I believe that my old friend has changed as well, but often that relationship ending was meant to be the catalyst for that change, nothing more and nothing less, and that is okay. Doesn’t make for great reality TV, but it is oh so real. Seriously.

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12 Responses to "Seriously. The reality of broken friendships is heartbreaking."

People come into your life for a time or a season. Friends come and go but Family is always family, or so I’ve been told.

You are right. Great Reality TV is often bad for real relationships. It seems it is easier to sink into the drama rather than rise above it with willpower and love. I would rather see these women kiss and hug than yell, but I can’t watch enough to justify the advertising budget. Perhaps one day people will realize it’s better to watch women kiss and hug.

Thanks bertbad for your comment. It seems that Reality TV is the kiss of death of most marriages and now it’s proven to be for friendships as well. The final part of the reunion showed Jill and Bethenny hugging but it was forced. I think the relationship is truly over and as sad as that is, it’s okay.

Reality TV requires “ratings” and backstabbing is much better for ratings.

It is NOT your enemies who spend very much time talking about you, the friends who we consider close have much more negative things to say about you and the irony is that they got the information from you.

Choosing friends is a lot like choosing a mate. You’ve got to open yourself up and trust them with your heart. When it goes bad, it’s hard to recover.

bertbad…..What a great line
“It seems easier to sink into the drama rather than rise above it with willpower and love”.
I like that!

I have experience breaking up with old friends from my past, but recently have reunited with them. No we didn’t hate each other when we broken it off.. I think our life styles where different at the time. But we have since talked about why we stop speaking and honestly it was stupid.. We where young and forgave each other and laughed and joked about it. We still have different life styles… but understand and respect them.

I practically “worshipped” my best childhood friend and thought I could never get over the hurt when she “dumped” me. I never knew why one summer she ended our very close relationship. I couldn’t believe it and truly expected her to come around any day – which never happened. Although we did speak again on a couiple of rare occasions after that, but it was never the same. Unfortunately, I was shocked and dismayed, several years later, to be told by her aunt that my friend had died of a sudden heart attack. Sooo – be careful to forgive, kiss and make up while there’s still time. I still have regrets.

Thanks Jean for sharing. I too know what it’s like to be dumped by a friend and never know why. I’m sorry to hear that you were never able to make amends with her. I think those situations are definitely reminders to reach out to others and resolve your hurts before you determine if the relationship should continue or not.

Aunt Jean, if nothing else I don’t want to live with regrets! Thanks for your advice.

This blog definitely hit home for me. Interestingly, I had someone in my life who I considered my “best friend” for a time. Helped her get a job, hung out all the time, grew closer to her children than her own sister. And then, when my divorce began to get ugly, she cut me off completely and sided with my ex. I remember her saying that she was friends with him first, and that meant something to her. It didn’t matter that I was a much better friend to her in every way you can be than he was. She even came to court and testified on his behalf.

We’ve talked several times since then and she’s never come out and apologized or recognized that she kicked me to the curb at a time when I didn’t need that on top of everything else. I’ve forgiven her for my own sake, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget how her turning her back on me made me feel, and having some time and distance has also helped. I think it is very easy to be friends when things are going smoothly. The real test of friendship comes when you see who hangs around when your life gets turned upside down. I am fortunate to have some very wise, true friends who outshine the bad one or two that come along occasionally. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks E for sharing your story. You are right, real friends are there for you when you’re down and out. Finding out that your “friend” doesn’t have your back is devastating. I’m glad you’re surrounded by a true circle of friends now.

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